Federal regulators are taking back the proposal that permitted air travelers at high altitude to use their cellphones.
This proposal was introduced in 2013 by Tom Wheeler, the then-chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, now considered to roll back a regulation long-standing banning the cellphones use on planes owing to the concerns of the cellular signals that may interfere with pilot radios. However, new in-flight communications advances have minimized the concerns, and so it meant the ban may be lifted now.
Under the proposal, it was expected of the passengers to keep their phones in airplane mode or it should be turned off during takeoff and landing, but could switch on their connections at cruising altitude.
The decision was taken on Monday to reverse this proposal and it came from Ajit Pai, Wheeler’s successor. He named the plan “ill-conceived,” and Pai said in a statement that he it did not serve the public interest.
“Taking it off permanently means it is a victory for Americans across the country who, will surely value at 30,000 feet, a quiet moment,” said Pai. He did not elaborate on this act.
The proposal was met initially from trade groups representing pilots and flight attendants with backlash. Many argued that the ban relaxation will result in passengers disturbing with noisy phone calls.
The Consumer Technology Association, that supported the proposal, refrained from commenting. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, that opposed the proposal, appreciated its demise.
“The FCC is making the right decision by not lifting the ban on in-flight calls,” said the labor union spokesman, Taylor Garland. “The traveling public and crew members do not want on planes voice calls.”